The Boston Citgo sign, all 3,600 square LED feet of which has served as the backdrop to Red Sox games since 1965, is now officially a "pending landmark."

Spanish Surrealist Salvador Dalí spent much of the 1940s in the U.S., avoiding World War II and its aftermath. He was a well-known fixture on the art scene in Monterey, Calif. — and that's where the largest collection of Dalí's work on the West Coast is now open to the public.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

The middle of summer is when the surprises in publishing turn up. I'm talking about those quietly commanding books that publishers tend to put out now, because fall and winter are focused on big books by established authors. Which brings us to The Dream Life of Astronauts, by Patrick Ryan, a very funny and touching collection of nine short stories that take place in the 1960s and '70s around Cape Canaveral, Fla.

When the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union last month, the seaside town of Port Talbot in Wales eagerly went along with the move. Brexit was approved by some 57 percent of the town's residents.

Now some of them are wondering if they made the wrong decision.

The June 23 Brexit vote has raised questions about the fate of the troubled Port Talbot Works, Britain's largest surviving steel plant — a huge, steam-belching facility that has long been the town's biggest employer.

Solar Impulse 2 has landed in Cairo, completing the penultimate leg of its attempt to circumnavigate the globe using only the power of the sun.

The trip over the Mediterranean included a breathtaking flyover of the Pyramids. Check it out:

President Obama is challenging Americans to have an honest and open-hearted conversation about race and law enforcement. But even as he sits down at the White House with police and civil rights activists, Obama is mindful of the limits of that approach.

"I've seen how inadequate words can be in bringing about lasting change," the president said Tuesday at a memorial service for five law officers killed last week in Dallas. "I've seen how inadequate my own words have been."

Mice watching Orson Welles movies may help scientists explain human consciousness.

At least that's one premise of the Allen Brain Observatory, which launched Wednesday and lets anyone with an Internet connection study a mouse brain as it responds to visual information.

The FBI says it is giving up on the D.B. Cooper investigation, 45 years after the mysterious hijacker parachuted into the night with $200,000 in a briefcase, becoming an instant folk figure.

"Following one of the longest and most exhaustive investigations in our history," the FBI's Ayn Dietrich-Williams said in a statement, "the FBI redirected resources allocated to the D.B. Cooper case in order to focus on other investigative priorities."

This is the first in a series of essays concerning our collective future. The goal is to bring forth some of the main issues humanity faces today, as we move forward to uncertain times. In an effort to be as thorough as possible, we will consider two kinds of threats: those due to natural disasters and those that are man-made. The idea is to expose some of the dangers and possible mechanisms that have been proposed to deal with these issues. My intention is not to offer a detailed analysis for each threat — but to invite reflection and, hopefully, action.


Should You Be Worried About Your Meat's Phosphorus Footprint?

Feb 17, 2013
Originally published on February 19, 2013 10:36 am

If you've ever played around with one of those carbon or water footprint calculators, you probably know that meat production demands a lot from the environment — a lot of oil, water and land. (Check out the infographic we did on what goes into a hamburger last year for Meat Week.)

But have you thought about your meat's phosphorus footprint? Probably not.

That's why Geneviève Metson, a doctoral student in natural resource science at McGill University in Canada, did the math for you. She wanted to find out how much of the phosphorus that's mined and turned into supplements for animal feed or fertilizer to grow feed crops goes to the meat industry.

Pretty unsurprisingly, she found that meat consumption is driving much of the phosphorus use in the food sector. And, she argues in a paper published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, the heavy phosphorus footprint of meat is good reason to eat less of it, given that phosphorous is a finite resource that might become scarce one day.

"Changes we can make in our diet to decrease the demand for mined phosphorus can also decrease the use of other resources," Metson tells The Salt. "We need to manage our food system in an equitable and sustainable way, and we need to look at many resources and priorities simultaneously."

But not everyone agrees phosphorus needs to be a top concern for food security.

"Phosphorus is pretty far down the list of things we're going to suddenly run out of," Steven Van Kauwenbergh, principal scientist and leader of the Phosphate Research and Resources Initiative at IFDC, an international food security and agriculture organization, tells The Salt.

So what is this phosphorus stuff, you say? It's an element that's mostly locked up in rocks in the ground – in this inorganic form, it's called phosphate.

It's an essential nutrient for humans and plants, and much of the world's phosphate gets processed into phosphoric acid to make fertilizer that helps plants grow quickly. Mining more of it from deposits around the world has helped fuel the huge increase in global food production. Phosphate production in 2012 was 220 million tons, up from 165 million tons in 1994.

In the last decade or so, inspired by the conversation about peak oil, a few environmental researchers began talking about the possibility of peak phosphorus and the dangers that a decline in such a critical resource would pose to food production. But even those researchers acknowledged that the estimates of global phosphate reserves — and how long they'll last — were fuzzy.

So the IRDC, which helps farmers in developing countries improve their harvests with fertilizer and other technologies, asked Van Kauwenbergh to do a thorough assessment of world reserves. His report, released in 2010, offered radically higher estimates of how much phosphate was available, and estimated that with current rates of production, phosphate rock reserves will be available for 300 to 400 years.

Other industry analysts agree that there's plenty of phosphate to go around for a long while.

"Peak phosphorus is a total myth, and I don't think it's anything to worry about in our lifetime," says Juan von Gernet, a senior consultant on fertilizers for CRU, a commodities research and consulting firm in London. "There is a huge amount of phosphate in the land, and if we run out of that, there are a lot of unexplored areas on the seabed which can be extracted if required."

Van Kauwenbergh also takes issue with Metson's suggestion that using lots of phosphorus to feed people is a bad thing.

"The people in countries with high [phosphorous] footprints have the opportunity to choose lifestyles and healthy diets," he says, and those diets mean more meat. "Now it seems these scholars would have us believe this approach is wrong."

Still, environmental researchers say that any resource we're entirely dependent on will eventually run out.

"We should definitely start to approach questions about decreasing our global demand for phosphorus," says Tina Neset, an environmental researcher who studies phosphorus at Linköping University in Sweden.

Another reason to do so, she says, is that phosphorus and nitrogen from fertilizer runoff are responsible for a very current environmental problem: polluting waterways with too many plant nutrients. That can cause algae to bloom too much and deplete oxygen levels underwater — a state that can suffocate aquatic life.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit